Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 02/02/13 at 05:19 PM ET
Observations from the greatest win in Detroit Red Wing regular season history. Ever. Without exception.
That's not true. We don't keep track. But it was a good win. As we said in the Live Blog, it was critical that the Wings just competed last night. A win would have been a bonus. Pushback, grit, resistance and an apparent distaste for defeat would have been acceptable.
They provided us all of that and it could have very well been the kind of game that our Uncle Mike uses for months to come. Play like you did opening night? Get humiliated. Compete like you did last night? Anything's possible with the talent on this team.
Well. That didn't take too long. I don't think any of us really doubted Hank Zetterberg's qualifications, but probably more than a couple were curious to see how he'd adjust to life as The Captain. Here's how...
--He's playing better than he has in 3 seasons and maybe better than he has since he won the Conn Smythe for stifling one Thid Rosby in the '08 Finals.
--A few of you have said it today, and in a drunken haze last night...his performance was Yzerman-like. Five points. A hat trick that featured two goals he willed in, the last one...amazing.
--I read somewhere that he and Kronwall gave it to the team in between the second and third. Reminded them that they're Detroit By God Red Wings, not some two year wonder, win-nothing Blues team with exactly zero Cups under their belt. A speech that lit some fires maybe? Not unlike another speech from another Captain during another game against St. Louis.
--He's healthy and we all know that's huge for Zetterberg. If he stays that way he can carry this team like his predecessors did.
So there's that about our Captain. And yes, that's a capital C. There is no doubt about those quals, about his leadership or about what he wants the most. There has to be something there none of us understand, a hidden pressure to bring home a Cup as a Detroit Red Wing Captain. Don't forget, it was Zetterberg who stalled next to Yzerman, who Yzerman pulled along and mentored. He saw something ten years ago.
Hey. If you're a Blues fan, and you're reading this? Well, first of all...suck it. Secondly, was this fun to read this morning in the Post Dispatch?
Skating beneath their multiple Stanley Cup championship banners, the Red Wings...
11 of them, actually. "Multiple" sounds a little mild for my taste. 11. But you got the point. The article points out the Bitter Bitch Blues haven't won in Detroit in two years, that a stigma exists, that they've yet to learn that winning in Detroit is hard, hard work. Above all? The Blues haven't won jack squat. Ever. Until they do...there can be no comparison between the franchises, or the fan bases.
Now. Bluster aside? That was a horrible call. Horrible. Backes is a tough kid and that was a good hit. Late, and maybe worthy of what? Interference maybe? Maybe. A good hit and an unfortunate, for the sobbing Blues fans, five minute major that essentially won the game.
Wait. Stop. The call didn't "win the game." The officials didn't "win the game." The Wings won it because they took advantage of a gift, one we've seen them refuse all too often. I'm not apologizing for that. Ever. The Wings have been screwed too many times for us to have to feel guilty or dirty. Take that win. Wash it. Shine it up. Polish it and put it in a shoe box with your Hustlers and your Stretch Armstrongs.
We asked the question last night. We wanted to know if they despised losing like we hoped they do, or did, or will, whatever. We wanted to be sure they hated losing like we hate to see them lose. I think that question was answered by the Captain. Trap game tonite because BJs are tempting. Live Blog at 1800 EST.
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About Abel to Yzerman
Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org